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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this online, thought I'd share it. The writer is coming from the Pacific Northwest location, but states "I've included many trees that are widely adaptable."

http://localecologist.blogspot.com/2010/08/bee-trees.html

I like the way he has them listed by month of bloom.

As an aside, the reason I got to this website is that I got a solicitation in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation, they send you a selection of "free" trees and shrubs if you send them a donation. I looked up the tree/shrub offerings, and it turns out I think they are all honeybee friendly, so it's good to know the Arbor Day Foundation seems to be keeping honeybees in mind.
 

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Thanks for posting the list. One issue with trees is that they can take many years to bloom and many don't produce nectar in quantity for a long long time. Another issue is will the trees grow in your climate? I have a bunch of dead Tulip Poplars that didn't cope with our -35F temperatures last winter.

I'm becoming convinced that native biennials are the way to go - I just planted some Joe Pye Weed and some heather earlier in the year - although shrubs like Staghorn Sumac (if you consider Sumac more shrub than tree) are something I'm looking to add.

Being aware of changing bee forage in your area due to farming, climactic and other changes is big. My goal is to have plenty of forage near me available during the flying year that will keep my bees off of the commercially managed wild blueberry barrens. And plants that support native pollinators are good too!
 

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I hope not - I planted a few Lindens a few years back that I was hoping would bloom this year - they didn't. The article does say nectar in large amounts may be toxic. Lindens bloom for a short period of time so I'm not very worried about too high a nectar concentration.

In the language of the article what I planted were American Lindens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One issue with trees is that they can take many years to bloom and many don't produce nectar in quantity for a long long time.
This spring I planted some fruit trees. That was my thought: you have to have lots of faith in the future to plant fruit trees. It can be years before you see the "fruit" of your labor.

although shrubs like Staghorn Sumac (if you consider Sumac more shrub than tree) are something I'm looking to add.
I'm beginning to see this as the "beekeeper's disease". Lawn mower phobias and invasive weed lovers. LOL. The sumac is the bane of my husband's existence as he tries every year to eliminate those things from the landscape and they keep popping up anyway.
 

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>Has anyone heard that before?

Not before a month ago or so. I don't buy it. I couldn't find anything that supported that any significant number of honey bees die from exposure to Linden nectar and it's always been a major nectar source for honey.

>I'm beginning to see this as the "beekeeper's disease". Lawn mower phobias and invasive weed lovers. LOL. The sumac is the bane of my husband's existence as he tries every year to eliminate those things from the landscape and they keep popping up anyway.

I've noticed "invasive" is another word for "bee plant". See how much work it will save if you just give in? The only "invasive" plants I don't like are the ones the Weed Board makes me waste my life trying to kill...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not before a month ago or so. I don't buy it. I couldn't find anything that supported that any significant number of honey bees die from exposure to Linden nectar and it's always been a major nectar source for honey.
Good! That scared me.
I've noticed "invasive" is another word for "bee plant". See how much work it will save if you just give in?
I haven't actually thrown myself in front of the lawnmower yet, mainly for fear it will run right over me, but you can't mow down a tree, so I'm moving more towards trees than trying to justify "invasive weeds"' existence.

I'm going to have to fence off a dandelion garden in the spring.

This is a terrible sickness.
 

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Invasives and non-native plants are off the table for me to plant. So the only Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosestrife that my bees will find is what incurs thanks to nature's whim.

And to NewbeeInNH - don't think of cultivating bee plants as "a terrible sickness" but instead as a fascinating sideline to keeping bees. This is an adventure. I became a Master Gardener to further my interest in bee forage and find that my veggie garden is an unintended beneficiary! (Try letting broccoli go to seed and watch how the bees react.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, that depends on how big the tree is. If it's small and the weeds are high, it's pretty easy actually...
This is why my new trees are all caged in chicken wire. So there are no excuses.

I planted a bee bee tree last summer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetradium which is supposedly a fast grower but is still excruciatingly slow.

don't think of cultivating bee plants as "a terrible sickness" but instead as a fascinating sideline to keeping bees. This is an adventure. I became a Master Gardener to further my interest in bee forage and find that my veggie garden is an unintended beneficiary! (Try letting broccoli go to seed and watch how the bees react.)
I have this beautiful bull thistle growing in my vegetable garden that is now home to many bumblebees. One website I saw when I tried to identify the plant stated that bull thistles are the product of a neglected yard. Ptuey. And yes, my seeded broccoli plants are also home to bumblebees. :)
 

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Excellent list. Thank you for posting it! Our plums bloom so early that i've only seen mason bees and other skitty little pollinators on them. Never honeybees. Maybe that will change now that we have hives of our own.

On a somewhat related note, has anyone ever heard that pierus creates a poisonous honey? I've been reading about "mad honey" from oleander, rhododendrons, and pierus, but the internet can exaggerate so it's hard to gauge how alarmed i should actually be. :)
 

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Hmm. Still looking around, this site says that linden trees CAN be toxic to honeybees if they extract too much nectar. Has anyone heard that before?
Linden, aka basswood or "Lin", is one of our major flows. I don't think tilia americana is poisonous to bees.

Shane
 

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>I have this beautiful bull thistle growing...

I was killing them last night (under orders from the Weed Board and the flower I picked off (so it wouldn't go to seed) was still on my Leatherman pliers when a hummingbird moth started working it. I watched it for some time working that one blossom. It was beautiful. I hated to deprive it of it's meal...
 

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Hmm. Still looking around, this site says that linden trees CAN be toxic to honeybees if they extract too much nectar. Has anyone heard that before?

http://www.ehow.com/facts_8035645_linden-tree-toxic-honeybees.html
Some Linden's reported to cause problems: From Journal of Apicultural Science Vol 54 #2 2010
Pollination activity of Bees visiting the flowers of Tilia cordata and Tilia tomentosa in an urban environment. Found that the toxic properties were stronger for bumblebees than honeybees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Some Linden's reported to cause problems: From Journal of Apicultural Science Vol 54 #2 2010
Pollination activity of Bees visiting the flowers of Tilia cordata and Tilia tomentosa in an urban environment. Found that the toxic properties were stronger for bumblebees than honeybees.
That translates to the littleleaf linden and the silver linden, which are the 2 linden trees that the Arbor Day Foundation sells on its website. Maybe someone can convince them to go with the American Linden instead.

Edit: Just saw your post, TWall. Wonder where the Journal of Apicultural Science got their conclusion from.
 

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That translates to the littleleaf linden and the silver linden, which are the 2 linden trees that the Arbor Day Foundation sells on its website. Maybe someone can convince them to go with the American Linden instead.

Edit: Just saw your post, TWall. Wonder where the Journal of Apicultural Science got their conclusion from.
The Journal didn't make any conclusion, they are just another peer reviewed scientific journal that publishes studies that pass muster. You've got to read the study and abstract yourself to see how it was done, the data, and the author's conclusion. From the abstract I passed along the bit about bumblebees and honeybees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Journal didn't make any conclusion, they are just another peer reviewed scientific journal that publishes studies that pass muster. You've got to read the study and abstract yourself to see how it was done, the data, and the author's conclusion. From the abstract I passed along the bit about bumblebees and honeybees.
Yeah, I guess you have to pay to subscribe for that.
 
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